Menopause and perimenopause in midlife come with a host of physical, mental and emotional symptoms which some are tempted to label as disease. Menopause and perimenopause in midlife are not a disease. And you are NOT going crazy, you’re just trying to be born.
Menopause is not a disease and yet, psychology, counseling and doctors’ offices are full of women between the ages of 30 and 70 who are looking for relief of symptoms that are uncomfortable and that someone (including their inner critic) told them were bad: anxiety, depression, panic, hot flashes, death chills, tremors, headaches, belly aches, body aches and the most dreaded of all: MOOD SWINGS. Often (but fortunately not always) the Western medical system’s response to these symptoms is to support the myth that because we are experiencing these symptoms, there is something wrong with us – something worthy of medication, hospitalization and sometimes invasive surgeries to remove the offending female parts.
Dealing with symptoms of menopause in midlife
What someone forgot to tell us is that midlife, menopause and perimenopause are NOT pathologies. These symptoms that we are experiencing are not bad; neither do they signal that something is wrong with us. Instead, what these symptoms are letting us know is that there is something VERY RIGHT going on – something that promises to bring us something incredibly wonderful. The something wonderful that these symptoms are bringing us to is OURSELF! Midlife is the process through which the hormones in our bodies shift from their focus on birthing babies to the very sacred process of BIRTHING OURSELVES!
Dealing with emotions in midlife and menopause
The greatest medicine you can give yourself as you traverse the path of midlife, menopause and menopause is to make friends with all the changes that are going on in your body, your mind and your emotions. The emotional changes of perimenopause and menopause are there to WAKE YOU UP. As women, we have been socialized to believe that in order to be loved; we have to be pleasing, gentle, kind, agreeable, cooperative, submissive, quiet and peaceful. During the childbearing years, the special mix of hormones in our body creates a veil. This veil holds our truth in check and allows us to set our own hopes, dreams, visions, passions and needs on the shelf where they gather dust waiting for everyone else’s needs to be met.
The catch is that our truth is not really being held at bay, it is just gathering resentment for being silenced while the hopes and dreams that are gathering dust are seething in frustration and impatience because they know that the needs of others will never be fully satisfied. So when our children are viable and the hormonal mix begins to shift, the veil tumbles to the ground and the shelf holding our dreams collapses. In this upheaval, all the emotions that we have held at bay suddenly come crashing in. The invitation in midlife is to let those emotions in….to make friends with them….to allow them to lead you to your truth and to the woman you are called to be post-childbearing. The treasure that awaits you in midlife is the discovery of your uniquely creative gifts and the way in which you are called to share these gifts in service first to your own fulfillment, and then in service to the world.
Returning – a woman’s midlife journey to herself, provides guidance and support for women as they move through the journey of midlife. For more personalized attention, sign up for Lauri’s online course, Surviving Midlife. Lauri Ann Lumby is also available for one-on-one spiritual and counseling for women moving through the midlife journey. Learn more HERE.
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